From prayers to calls for Trump to halt rioters, some statements react to a sign of a divided nation with cries for peace.
(RNS) — As a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6), American religious leaders reacted quickly to a chaotic and unprecedented scene.
From succinct prayers to calls for Trump to ask the rioters to halt, the faith leaders’ statements mostly appealed for unity. But some who have affirmed the current president expressed their support for protesters they considered to be peaceful or made unsubstantiated claims that members of the mob might be related to far-left leaning militants of the antifa movement.
“Disobeying and assaulting police is a sin whether it’s done by Antifa or angry Republicans,” tweeted the Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas. The Rev. Franklin Graham speculated, apparently without substantiation, that those who invaded the Capitol building were related to antifa.
For his part, Trump, in a brief video posted on Twitter but later removed by the platform, empathized with the mob but also asked them to leave.